Author: Jennifer Schiller

Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation Adopts New Name: Research Institute for Home Care

Organizational and branding change reflects the transformation in the home care industry

Washington, DC (May 9, 2022) – The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation, a 501(c)3 research foundation, will operate under a new name – Research Institute for Home Care – and adopt a new tagline: “Advancing home care through research.” In announcing the change, the Institute will focus on improving access to and delivery of care in the home by promoting research to inform policy and identify best practices and patient care models.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era in home care. Now, more than ever, people expect to receive quality care in their home,” said Jennifer Schiller, the Institute’s executive director. “Our organization wants to propel care in the home forward through the crucial research we fund. Our new brand identity positions us as a leader in this change.”

As the field evolves, the research that the organization supports will play an important role in demonstrating the wealth of benefits that home care provides to payers, providers, policymakers, and patients. Some of its most recent impactful projects include:

  • The annual home health research grant, has funded eight projects in five years, which have served to improve care through pilot-based medical interventions, understanding the roles of caregivers and cultural diversity training, impacts of new models and regulation on care, and more.
  • The annual Home Health Chartbook, which provides a broad overview of home care patients, the home care workforce, organizational trends, the economic contribution of home care agencies, and data on 30-day rehospitalization rates.
  • The recent report, Exploration of the Value and Role of Home Health Care in Medicare Advantage, which studies the value of skilled home health care and the role of home health in an expanding the Medicare Advantage environment.

“As the chairman of the Institute’s board of directors, and a provider in the field for many years, I’m excited for the organization’s new brand,” said Joan Doyle, CEO, Penn Medicine at Home.

“It helps amplify the great work the organization has done for the last decade plus. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Institute has in store for the future through high-quality research and initiatives.”

The Institute takes a broad view of care in the home. It includes those services that allow someone to remain at home, including community-based services, skilled nursing care, therapy, hospice and palliative care, home-based medical care, and other professional support services that help keep people safe, healthy, and comfortable in their homes.

The Institute considers sponsoring a wide range of studies that inform clinical and policy areas, including qualitative and quantitative, clinical trials, observational studies, and prospective and retrospective studies. Members play a decisive role in setting the organization’s research agenda and determining which research projects are the most valuable for the field of home
care.

For more information on the organization or to become a member, visit researchinstituteforhomecare.org.

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The Research Institute for Home Care is a non-profit, national consortium of home care providers and organizations. The Institute invests in research and education about home health care and its ability to deliver quality, cost-effective, patient-centered care across the care continuum. The Institute is committed to conducting and sponsoring research and initiatives that demonstrate and enhance the value proposition that home care has to offer patients and the entire U.S. health care system.

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AHHQI Announces 2021 Home Health Research Grant Awardee

Focused on deprescribing in home health, the research aims to create a telehealth-facilitated intervention

WASHINGTON – The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (AHHQI) announced the recipient of the 2021 AHHQI Home Health Research Grant, awarding Jinjiao Wang, PhD, RN and her team at the University of Rochester School of Nursing the award for their study, “Interdisciplinary Deprescribing via Telehealth in Home Health Care.” The eighth project funded by the AHHQI grant, Dr. Wang’s study is focused on developing a deprescribing intervention for older home health patients with multimorbidity and polypharmacy which aligns with existing home health practice.

“The research being undertaken by Dr. Wang and her colleagues is another crucial area of study in the continuation of improving care at home,” said Joan Doyle, Chairman of the Alliance’s Board of Directors. “Polypharmacy is a growing area and the ability to refine and introduce a model for deprescribing utilizing telehealth in home health care is vitally important to being able to successfully employ home health in polypharmacy.”

The multi-aim project seeks to create the first home-based, telehealth-facilitated deprescribing intervention using home health care nurses, facilitating collaboration with other providers such as clinical pharmacists and providers in acute and primary care practices.

This year’s grant award is the eighth project awarded by the AHHQI Home Health Grant. Now in its fourth year, the Grant is the only one focused solely on advancing and improving home health care. Projects either fully funded or underway range in topic from home health for patients with dementia, a hospital to home intervention program, policy implications for home health care delivery, the impacts of frontloading, and caring for culturally diverse patients. All projects are selected based on their rigorous approach to research and their aim at advancing the delivery of home health care, aligning with the Alliance’s mission of demonstrating the value of and critical need for home health care.

The 2022 funding cycle opens from October 6, 2021 and will close on December 23, 2021. For more information about the Alliance’s grant funding efforts, or to learn more about future grant opportunities, please visit the Alliance’s website at www.ahhqi.org or reach out to the Alliance’s Executive Director, Jennifer Schiller, at jschiller@ahhqi.org.

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The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (the Alliance) is comprised of leaders in the home health care community – including several of the largest home health care providers in the United States and the largest national trade association representing home health care providers. The mission of the Alliance is to foster research and education on the value of home health care to patients and the overall U.S. health care system. The Alliance is dedicated to improving the nation’s health care system through development of high quality and innovative solutions aimed at achieving optimal clinical outcomes. To learn more, visit www.ahhqi.org.

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AHHQI Announces Third Annual Home Health Research Grant Awardee

The research looks at family caregiver training, needs, barriers, and best practices

WASHINGTON – The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (AHHQI) awarded today the 2020 home health research grant to researchers from Johns Hopkins University for their study titled, “Challenges and Best Practices in Delivering Family Caregiver Training During Medicare Home Health.”

This year’s research project will look at communications between caregivers and home health care. This includes assessing current methods for identifying family caregiver training needs, and identifying barriers and best practices. Researcher Julia Burgdorf, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University will be conducting a qualitative analysis centered on delivering training to family caregivers during Medicare home health episodes.

“The Alliance is thrilled to fund this important research as part of our home health research grant program,” said Joan Doyle, Chairman of the Alliance’s Board of Directors. “The work of Dr. Burgdorf and her colleagues at Johns Hopkins University is critically needed at any time, but especially in light of COVID-19 as caregiving and care in the home take center stage. Better understanding of barriers and best practices of communication between caregivers and home health providers will be crucial in improving care in the home.”

This year’s grant award marks the third year of Alliance-sponsored research grants. As the only organization providing grant funding to projects focused solely on care provided in the home, the Alliance is a leading the way in the future of home health care. Dr. Burgdorf’s work joins that of her colleagues Bruce Leff, MD, Cynthia Boyd, MD, MPH, and Orla Sheehan, MD, PhD who received a grant in 2018 to study the communications and care coordination between physicians and home health providers. Five other grant-funded projects are currently in either the research or paper submissions stages. Those projects range in topic from home health for patients with dementia, a hospital to home intervention program, policy implications for home health care delivery, the impacts of frontloading, and caring for culturally diverse patients.

All projects were selected for their excellence in improving the delivery of care at home, as well as aligning with the Alliance’s mission of demonstrating the value of home health care.

The 2021 funding cycle is expected to be open from October to mid-December. For more information about the Alliance’s grant funding efforts, or to learn more about future grant opportunities, please visit the Alliance’s website at www.ahhqi.org or reach out to the Alliance’s Executive Director, Jennifer Schiller, at jschiller@ahhqi.org.

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The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (the Alliance) is comprised of leaders in the home health care community – including several of the largest home health care providers in the United States and the largest national trade association representing home health care providers. The mission of the Alliance is to foster research and education on the value of home health care to patients and the overall U.S. health care system. The Alliance is dedicated to improving the nation’s health care system through development of high quality and innovative solutions aimed at achieving optimal clinical outcomes. To learn more, visit www.ahhqi.org.

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AHHQI Announces Second Round of Home Health Research Projects

The research projects range in topic from policy to clinical innovation to caring for patients with dementia in the home

WASHINGTON – The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (AHHQI) is proud to announce the awardees for its second annual home health research grant funding cycle to researchers from George Mason University and L&M Policy Research, LLC. The selected projects will focus on cultural sensitivity in home health care and implications of frontloading in home health episodes, respectively.

“The Alliance is once again excited to be funding necessary and exciting research in home health care,” said Donald Stelly, Chairman of the Alliance’s Board of Directors. “Through the Alliance’s grant funding the organization has been able to support researchers doing critical work in improving care delivered in the home and pushing forward toward the future of home health care benefitting patients, caregivers, providers, and the healthcare system at large.”

Researcher Mary Narayan, MSN, RN, HHCNS-BC, CTN-A, COS-C, a PhD student at George Mason University School of Nursing, will be looking at crucial elements of providing culturally sensitive care in the home setting, developing strategies to facilitate culture-sensitive, patient-centered assessments that support effective care plans. The project will aim to build, based on rigorous research, a modular training program for use in continuing education programs and inservice training for home healthcare clinicians; it will also serve to help update an existing cultural assessment and care planning tool. Ms. Narayan’s work will be supported by R. Kevin Mallinson, PhD, RN, an Associate Professor of Nursing and Division Director for the PhD in Nursing Program.

Additionally, researchers at L&M Policy Research, LLC will be tackling the use of frontloading in Medicare fee-for-service home health care by looking at the timing, number and type of home health health visits, and how frontloading is being operationalized currently. The goal of the research to serve as a backbone for future research on the impacts of frontloading and ultimately identifying the most effective approaches to frontloading for improving patient care. Julia Doherty, M.H.S.A., Senior Research Director, and Brant Morefield, PhD, Senior Researcher, both at L&M Policy, LLC, will serve as the lead researchers on the project.

The 2019 funding builds off the tremendous success established by the previous grant funding cycle. This year’s projects are amongst six ongoing research projects funded by the Alliance. Previous grant awardees focus on home health for patients with dementia, communication between providers of care, a hospital to home intervention program, and policy implications for home health care delivery.

All projects were selected for their excellence in improving the delivery of care at home, as well as aligning with the Alliance’s mission of demonstrating the value of home health care.

The 2020 funding cycle opened in mid-October and will close Friday, December 27, 2019. For more information about the open request for proposals, please visit the Alliance’s website at www.ahhqi.org or reach out to the Alliance’s Director, Policy Communications & Research, Jennifer Schiller, at jschiller@ahhqi.org.

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The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (the Alliance) is comprised of leaders in the home health care community – including several of the largest home health care providers in the United States and the largest national trade association representing home health care providers. The mission of the Alliance is to foster research and education on the value of home health care to patients and the overall U.S. health care system. The Alliance is dedicated to improving the nation’s health care system through development of high quality and innovative solutions aimed at achieving optimal clinical outcomes. To learn more, visit www.ahhqi.org.

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New Funding for Three Ground-Breaking Home Health Studies Announced by AHHQI

The research projects range in topic from policy to clinical innovation to caring for patients with dementia in the home

WASHINGTON – Today, the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (AHHQI) is proud to announce the awardees for its 2018 home health research grant funding cycle to researchers from Columbia University School of Nursing and the RAND Corporation, Rutgers University and the VNA Health Group, and the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. Projects tackle pivotal areas of home health research including a changing policy environment, caring for patients with dementia in the home, and a hospital-to-home intervention for at-risk patients.

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide funding for these critical research endeavors,” said Donald Stelly, Chairman of the Alliance’s Board of Directors. “By seeding the money to pilot a number of different projects, the Alliance is helping to drive the future of home health care forward through high-quality research touching on a number of vital areas of providing care in the home which will benefit patients, caregivers, providers, and the healthcare system at large.”

In December of 2017, the Alliance opened a public request for proposals focused on home health care research funding in one or more of the following areas: payment and delivery reform, patient and person-centered care, technology, home health workforce, and clinical innovation. Following a tremendous response, the Alliance’s steering committees, led by the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and the Research Work Group, picked the three projects for their excellence in improving the delivery of care at home, as well as aligning with the Alliance’s mission of demonstrating the value of home health care.

Researchers at Columbia University School of Nursing, led by Dr. Jingjing Shang, along with Dr. Patricia Stone, and their colleague at the RAND Corporation, Dr. Andrew Dick, will explore how home health agencies have responded to changes in quality and payment initiatives, specifically value-based purchasing, identifying best practices for home health agencies based on outcomes, and conduct qualitative interviews and a national survey on the Quality Assurance and Program Integrity (QAPI) program.

One effect of the new funding model is the ability to incubate and pilot new clinical research, some which may grow into larger demonstrations.

At Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Dr. Olga F. Jarrín, along with her colleague at VNA Health Group Dr. Robert Rosati, are refining and validating a method of rapidly identifying home health patients living with advanced cognitive impairment and dementia. This project will contribute to larger efforts demonstrating the value of home health care for people living with dementia and their family caregivers.

Additionally, Dr. Rebecca L. Trotta at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania will be piloting a program on the “Flipped Discharge” a hospital-to-home intervention for older adults at-risk of skilled nursing facility (SNF) placement. The goal of the study is implement an intervention protocol which promotes patient-centered care in the home as an alternative to institutional care as appropriate.

Each research project is expected to be completed over a 12-18 month period.

The aforementioned projects join the previously announced study by Drs. Cynthia Boyd, Bruce Leff, and Orla Sheehan at Johns Hopkins University that will utilize a series of qualitative research to design a clinical trial around challenges in communication and care coordination between home health care agencies and clinicians who certify home health care services.

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The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (the Alliance) is comprised of leaders in the home health care community – including several of the largest home health care providers in the United States and the largest national trade association representing home health care providers. The mission of the Alliance is to foster research and education on the value of home health care to patients and the overall U.S. health care system. The Alliance is dedicated to improving the nation’s health care system through development of high quality and innovative solutions aimed at achieving optimal clinical outcomes. To learn more, visit www.ahhqi.org.

Johns Hopkins: Most Doctors Spend One Minute Reviewing Home Health Plans

Published by Home Health Care News
Amy Baxter

Many physicians only spend about one minute reviewing home health care plans, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins University researchers published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

That revelation likely isn’t a shock to home health care providers that deal with getting physicians to sign off on care plans. Communication and care coordination are well-known struggles for both sides.

While physicians are required to certify a plan of care for patients who receive Medicare skilled home health care services, the amount of time they actually spend reviewing the paperwork reveals that the current communication streams are lacking quality.

“Our data suggest that the significant majority of physicians spend little time reviewing the plan of care developed by the home health agencies,” Bruce Leff, director of The Center for Transformative Geriatric Research and a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, told Home Health Care News.

Part of the problem with the communication is simply the format that the plan of care typically takes. The form, commonly known as the CMS-485, is “not useful or conducive to communicating useful information that could be better used to foster care coordination and care planning,” according to Leff.

Of more than 1,000 respondents in the study, 72% of participants — which included physicians specializing in family or general medicine, geriatrics, geriatric psychiatry, internal medicine, or hospice and palliative medicine — had certified at least one plan of care in the past year.

Nearly half, 47%, said they spent less than one minute reviewing the CMS-485 form before certification; 21% said they spent at least two minutes reviewing the form before certification.

However, most home health care agencies stick with the format because it isn’t likely to lead them astray in terms of an audit later on.

“It’s only a suggestion from CMS, but most agencies use that format because they know that it is a completely safe format to use from a regulatory standpoint,” Leff said.

Once the plan of care is certified, it is also rarely changed. About 80% of respondents said they rarely or never changed an order on the CMS-485, and 78.3% rarely or never contacted the home health care clinicians with questions.

After finding just how little time physicians spend on care plans and communicating with home health care agencies, researchers are planning to look at the issue from the perspective of home health care providers, with a grant from the Alliance for Home Health Quality & Innovation.

“A key thing in the home health care space is to figure out how to [improve] communication, with the majority being agencies that are not integrated with primary care,” Cynthia Boyd, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and lead research author, told HHCN. “Addressing it is really important.”

Read the full article at: https://homehealthcarenews.com/2018/04/johns-hopkins-most-doctors-spend-one-minute-reviewing-home-health-plans/

Alliance Announces Funding for New Home Health Care Research with Johns Hopkins University

The research grant awarded to Dr. Cynthia Boyd, Dr. Bruce Leff, and Dr. Orla Sheehan will look at the function and role of the current home health plan of care

ARLINGTON — As part of its commitment to promoting home health care research, the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (AHHQI) announced Monday a $100,000 grant awarded to researchers from Johns Hopkins University for a study titled, “Communication and Care Coordination Between Home Health Care Agencies and Clinicians with Providers Who Order and Certify Home Health Care Services.” The study builds off work done by Boyd, et al over the last few years.

Research will utilize a series of qualitative interviews with home health agency administrators, clinical directors, and clinicians in the field, as well as a national survey, to ultimately design a clinical trial that explores the issues of communication and care coordination between home health care agencies and clinicians who certify home health care services.

“The Alliance is pleased to announce funding for Drs. Boyd, Leff, and Sheehan and their critical work examining the issues related to communications and care coordination between home health care providers and clinicians who order and certify home health care services,” said Donald Stelly, Chairman of the Alliance’s Board of Directors. “This work will be integral in promoting better tools for communication between members of the care team, and ultimately improving care coordination in home health care. Their work is in keeping with the spirit of the Alliance and its mission of leading and supporting research efforts on the value of home health care, as well as the framework laid out in the Future of Home Health Care Project.”

“We have previously studied communication from the physician’s point of view,” says Bruce Leff, M.D., director, Center for Transformative Geriatric Research. “This grant will allow us to further our research and help us understand communication and care coordination issues from the home health care provider’s point of view and, ultimately, develop better approaches to care.”

The announcement of this funding is just the first step in the Alliance’s continued commitment to furthering and supporting fundamental research for the future of home health care. In December 2017, the Alliance opened up a public request for proposals for additional funded research. Research will focus on one or more of the five areas of importance identified in, “The Future of Home Health Care: A Strategic Framework for Optimizing Value” published in 2016. Those areas include: payment and delivery reform, patient and person-centered care, technology, home health workforce, clinical innovation. Awards for this year’s funding will be announced in the coming months.

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The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (the Alliance) is comprised of leaders in the home health care community — including several of the largest home health care providers in the United States and the largest national trade association representing home health care providers. The mission of the Alliance is to foster research and education on the value of home health care to patients and the overall U.S. health care system. The Alliance is dedicated to improving the nation’s health care system through development of high quality and innovative solutions aimed at achieving optimal clinical outcomes. To learn more, visit www.ahhqi.org.